STAR WARS GALACTIC CONQUEST REVIEW: The next prequel to discuss is “Star Wars: Episode II- Attack of the Clones,” which stars Ewan McGregor (Jack the Giant Slayer, Trainspotting), Hayden Christensen (Jumper, Awake), Natalie Portman (Black Swan, Leon: The Professional), Samuel L. Jackson (The Incredibles, Unbreakable), Frank Oz (Sesame Street [TV series], Inside Out), Christopher Lee (The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory ), Ian McDiarmid (Utopia [TV series], Sleepy Hollow ), Temuera Morrison (Once Were Warriors, Speed 2: Cruise Control), Pernilla August (Call Girl, The Last Sentence), Ahmed Best (Robot Chicken: Star Wars, W.M.D.), Anthony Daniels (Dirigible Days [TV miniseries], Star Wars: The Clone Wars [TV series]), Daniel Logan (Shortland Street [TV series], Star Wars: The Clone Wars [TV series]), Kenny Baker (When the Devil Rides Out, U.F.O), Jack Thompson (Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, Original Sin), Jimmy Smits (NYPD Blue [TV series], Sons of Anarchy [TV series]), and Joel Edgerton (The Great Gatsby , The Gift). It is written and directed by George Lucas (American Graffiti, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade). In this second movie in the prequel series, we fast-forward ten years to where Anakin Skywalker (Christensen) is now a young adult, but is still in need of learning by his master Obi-Wan Kenobi (McGregor). In this time frame, the Republic is in dire need of help because of the small amount of Jedi at their disposal. They need more people to protect them from threats, so Chancellor Palpatine (McDiarmid) enlists a bounty hunter by the name of Jango Fett (Morrison) to create an army of clones to help. Meanwhile, the Chancellor also asks of Obi-Wan and Anakin to protect Senator Amidala (Portman) of Naboo for she has a bounty on her head that was put on there by the Separatists, who are led by Count Dooku (Lee).
Goodness gracious! Excuse my language. If there is one thing that I remember most of my reactions to these prequels as a kid, it’s that “Star Wars: Episode II- Attack of the Clones” was my least favorite picture of the franchise. I still liked it, I just thought it was the least best. Going into this movie, I only remembered the highlights which included the ending and a few scattered portions, for the rest of this is forgettable. Watching these movies again at this age provides such a great feeling no matter how much of a disappointment they are, because of the comparison of my past feelings to now. I will say that this movie is not as good as “The Phantom Menace.” Let me tell you why, while explaining its own merits. I admit, the storyline to this film is more promising than the previous movie’s. But the way it was executed definitely caused this flick to fall short of the marker. The structure is a repeated fiasco of people sitting or standing in a room talking of political issues or the plot at hand, just like this movie’s predecessor. Some of it is good or bearable, but a big part of it is boring and could be skipped through or watered down. I want to see some action take place or for this film to tackle its conflict with spunk, but instead I get a bunch of old farts or middle-aged Jedi or Sith that plot against each other whenever they can. Watching this film late didn’t help my case either. There were aspects of this movie that I enjoyed, mind you, one being some references to the original series, an example being Anakin’s arrival in Tatooine, visiting Owen Lars (who was surprisingly played by Joel Edgerton) at Luke Skywalker’s upcoming residence. It was nice to see things like this. Another part I liked was the ending battle in the arena, which was cool to watch, even though some things were silly. This wasn’t complete trash, it looked like there was something behind it. It just didn’t meet my standards, and wasn’t that good. One thing that George Lucas loves to do in his movies is incorporate jokes, and although I can tell when one occurs, it isn’t funny. Nothing made me laugh in this film except for one scene with C-3P0 (Daniels). His type of comedy is bringing up past grievances constantly (for example, when Anakin jumped out of a car to free fall, Obi-Wan said “I hate it when he does that.”). I did laugh at things that shouldn’t have been, however. In terms of characters, they were okay. I always liked Obi-Wan and Ewan McGregor is still good at portraying him, no matter how shoddy the script is. Padmé was bearable, with Natalie Portman giving as good of a performance as she could with the writing. The one character I should be discussing, however, is Anakin Skywalker, newly portrayed by Hayden Christensen. Why?! I will say that he is a step up from Jake Lloyd in terms of showing some emotions, but the guy was such a creep! How him and Padmé ended up baffles me. He, like Jake Lloyd, was hollow most of the time in terms of emotions besides how he felt about Padmé and some other instances. I just don’t understand the casting choices. Speaking of Anakin, the worst con of this entire movie would have to be the relationship between him and Padmé. It is probably the most forced relationship I have ever witnessed. Every line they said was weird and when they tried to make a move, it was awkward. It was cringing to watch. I had to rely on the transition to Obi-Wan’s conflict to save me. His ordeal with the clones was interesting for the small part he had on the planet where the clones were being made. I thought Jango Fett was a credible character, but I do like Boba more. All the other characters were okay, like I said, and Christopher Lee played a great Count Dooku. When it comes to CGI, that again is a pro/con. It’s not a problem because most of the CGI is suitable and can be dealt with. Most of it goes to the editing made with the 2007 widescreen edition DVDs I’m watching these on. But it’s a con because every stinking thing is a green screen. Barely one scene doesn’t have one. I can tell it most of the time too because of the glowing effect around the figures on camera. It gets annoying. Pure cons that I haven’t listed are more minor. Mainly goofs. There are quite a bit of mistakes made in this film. One example being when Obi-Wan is fighting Jango in the rain and is “blown up” twice. They reused the same footage of Obi-Wan flying so they wouldn’t have to tape two different instances. It’s very noticeable and even more hilarious. At least it provides a good laugh. I would say that no matter how I thought of this film, I would still admit that I will probably watch it again. It’s not a complete waste of cinematography, but it is disappointing and lousy. There were some good points made, but those were only some. Overall I thought that this was a mediocre release that could’ve been so much more. There are a few things to cling onto in it, but not many. FINAL SCORE: 68%= Burnt Popcorn
Here is the trailer: